Upper and Lower Bertha Falls

DSC01472DSC01462DSC01454 Waterton Lakes National Park is one of the more scenic locations in Alberta, but also has many waterfalls that are ripe for exploring.  One of these is the series of Bertha waterfalls, located along a trail just southwest of the Waterton townsite.  The Bertha trail is very scenic, presenting initial views of the village, Waterton Lake and surrounding mountains, then following the Bertha river, housing many other views of mention.

The lower falls are located approximately 2.7 kilometres along the Bertha Lake Trail. This trail can be accessed near the Cameron Falls location in the Village of Waterton although just south from the parking lot (see the Cameron Falls post for directions to Waterton Park).  The Bertha lake trail also connects with the larger Goat Haunt trail, which heads lakeside to Montana.  Ensure you take the correct trail into the mountains when presented with the ‘T’ in the trail after about 1.5 kilometres.  A further 1.2 kilometres will bring you near two Lower Bertha falls.  The first is a quaint downstream version of the second.  The second Lower Bertha falls are fairly large, nestled within surrounding trees and surmounting a large wall of rock, which forms the waterfall.  One can scramble the facing slope for picture opportunities. 

Reaching the Upper Falls is more of an endeavour.  After visiting the Lower Bertha falls, cross the footbridge and follow the signage to Bertha Lake.  The trail to Bertha lake is fairly steep, with several switchbacks ascending the treeline and ridge east of the Lake.  When the ridgeline is in view and aproximately 5.2 kilometres from the start of the trail, you see the spectacular Upper Bertha falls.  The falls descend signficantly into the valley below, with only sections of it visible from the Bertha lake trail.  (I tried to take several pictures of the falls, but discovered that there was more falls out of view and much below my perch on the trail.)  The falls are certainly a sight to see.  Follow the trail to Bertha lake for an end to the one-way trip.

(The above pictures show respectively: Mini Lower Bertha Falls, Lower Bertha Falls, and Upper (Big) Bertha Falls).

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